By Karen Savage
Fossil fuel companies want the Supreme Court to decide the crucial question of jurisdiction over climate lawsuits filed by nearly two dozen municipalities across the country: whether they belong in federal court, where the industry wants them, or in state courts where they were filed.
The Supreme Court has already agreed to review a procedural question in Baltimore’s climate liability suit when it granted a petition from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP and nearly two dozen other companies that would impact federal vs. state jurisdiction.
Now the companies want the high court to expand its review.
“Given the number of climate-change cases pending across the nation, the court should confirm that this case and others like it were properly removed to federal court on the ground that federal common law necessarily governs claims alleging injury based on the contribution of interstate and international emissions to global climate change,” the companies wrote in a brief filed Monday.
Baltimore first filed suit in Maryland state court in 2018, alleging that the fossil fuel companies knew for decades that their products drive climate change but deliberately failed to inform the public about those risks. The city is charging the companies with eight violations, including public nuisance, private nuisance, failure to warn and violations of Maryland’s consumer protection laws.[Read more…]